Tuesday, January 14, 2020

WISGOP Suffer Major Setback In Their War On Democracy

Wisconsin Republicans probably won't be able to silence the voices of over 200,000 people in the spring elections.

At the end of last year, a right wing front group for the Bradley Foundation filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Election Commission, demanding that nearly a quarter of a million people be purged immediately from the voter registration. The Republicans were in a panic because the spring elections were just around the corner and they know that when people vote, the Republicans lose.

But the Republicans thwarted themselves while creating the election commission so that it was very partisan. The commission decided to hold off doing the purge due to an appeal filed by Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and a federal lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters.

The Republicans, in an state of utter desperation, launched a three prong attack against democracy:
  • The front group filed a motion with the original court to find the election commission in contempt
  • They also filed a petition with the Wisconsin Supreme Court to bypass the appellate court and take the appeal directly, since they had a 5-2 conservative majority
  • Republican legislators filed in the federal lawsuit, asking for it to be dismissed, even though the legislators have no standing in the lawsuit
On Monday, the original court sided with the Republicans, finding only the three Democrats on the commission in contempt. He ordered the commission pay a $50 a day fine and that the three Democrats need to pay a $250 per day fine. But because the commission consists of appointed citizens who were acting in their official capacity, the taxpayers will be the ones ultimately footing the bill for this blatant act of partisanship.

The ruling was not a complete surprise since the judge presiding on the matter, Paul Malloy, was appointed by former Republican Governor Scott McCallum. Malloy also has a history of controversial statements and stunts, trying to present himself as a tough on crime type of judge.

Also on Monday, the state supreme court decided not to intervene in the appeal, leaving the matter to go to the appellate court first, despite the conservatives majority. This happened because on of the judges recused himself because he is up for reelection in the spring and would be directly affected by a decision. A second conservative justice betrayed his special interest masters by siding with the two impartial justices in deciding against the case.

State Republicans were outraged that justice was being done, demanding to know what kind of service they were getting after spending so much money on them.

On Tuesday came the major blow. The state appellate court issued an order to immediately stay the circuit court order, meaning that the targeted voters will remain in the registration for now. Furthermore, because the spring primary elections are only a few weeks away and the general elections - including the presidential primary - is on April 7, it is extremely unlikely there will be any changes before then.

And even if the Republicans prevail when it gets to the Wisconsin State Supreme Kangaroo Court, there is still the federal lawsuit hanging over their heads, so there is a change the voters will get to keep their voices through November as well.

In summary, the Republicans lost two major battles in the past two days and will get to pay for it with their tax dollars. Now excuse me while I go savor this moment and wait for the Republicans' heads to start popping.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

WISGOP Thwarts Themselves Again

After taking over all the branches of government in Wisconsin in 2011, the Republicans immediately got to work to secure their power and punishing those who tried to hold them accountable. Unfortunately for them, their incompetence has sprung up on them time and time again.

In 2018, Scott Walker lost his bid for reelection by a narrow margin. Normally, he would have been able to call for a recount, but the Republicans had changed that law, making it more difficult to get a recount. And thus, Walker was unable to challenge the vote and is becoming more and more irrelevant every day.

Another thing that the Republicans changed was abolishing the Government Accountability Board (GAB), which acted as a watchdog on Wisconsin elections and investigating any possible infractions of election laws. The Republicans had their undies in a bundle because it was the GAB that approved the John Doe investigation into Walker. They cried that it was all political and a partisan attack. What they wouldn't admit is that board consistent of retired judges, all of whom were Republican.

To replace the GAB, they created the Wisconsin Election Commission, which was comprised of six people, three Democrats and three Republicans. So much for not wanting the watchdog to be political.

This has become an outstanding issue now which again is biting the Republicans in the ass.

The Republicans, through a front group, filed a lawsuit to have nearly a quarter of a million people purged from the voter registration because they might have moved, based on a voter caging stunt. It was purely coincidental [end sarcasm] that the majority of the caging happened in areas that vote Democratic.

The judge granted the petition and went a step further, saying the purge should happen immediately.

Unsurprisingly, the three Democrats on the elections commission are blocking the purge from happening, citing an appeal by the commission and the fact that the League of Women Voters have filed a federal lawsuit to stop the purge:
The Wisconsin Elections Commission deadlocked Monday over whether to remove the voter registrations of more than 200,000 people in response to a judge's order.

The commission's inability to reach a consensus means the voters will stay on the rolls for at least the time being. An appeal in the case is ongoing and the commission faces a separate lawsuit that is trying to make sure people are not pulled from the rolls.

The three Republicans on the commission sought to take many of them off the rolls, but they were blocked by the three Democrats on the commission.

It was the second time in as many weeks that the commission broke down along party lines over the lawsuit, which has drawn national attention because of Wisconsin’s top-tier status in the 2020 presidential race.
As one could expect, Republicans are having meltdowns all across the state, accusing the Democrats in general, and specifically the three on the commission, of breaking the law, being anti-democratic. etc.

At the rate they're going, it won't be long before the Republicans end up suing themselves.